A new website highlighting African heroes and achievers has included three prominent gay Africans – all from South Africa – in its profiles. The website’s founders say that they are keen to debunk the often negative public image of Africa.
“Africansuccess.org is a new web site that wants to get people to look at Africa in a different and positive way,” said the website’s creator, Kadija TraorÃ© Bush, who is of Malian and Beninoise heritage.
“We want to inspire the young, give hope and ambition to Africans everywhere, and to change the way the world sees Africa. Our aim is to create a website that will inspire a continent.”
The three gay South Africans featured on the site are: Simon Nkoli, the late gay rights and anti-apartheid activist; Zachie Achmat, the HIV treatment campaigner; and Edwin Cameron, the openly gay and HIV-positive Supreme Court judge.
The website’s founder says that he wants to add more African lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) biographies to the site, and has asked people to submit entries to the website.
“Gay Africans make up a part of the landscape of the continent and any member of the gay community who has achieved something of merit deserves a place on our site. We welcome the submission of their biographies,” said Bush.
The new website is being supported by gay human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell of OutRage!.
“The organisers are keen to end the frequent invisibility of famous Africans who are gay. The first three LGBT entries are all South Africans. There are many other heroic LGBT campaigners in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and elsewhere.
“I hope that people who know these courageous, inspiring individuals will add their biographies to the AfricanSuccess website in the coming weeks and months. This is, in part, a user-generated website, a bit like Wikipedia. It depends on public contributions to expand its data base,” said Tatchell.
“We are still building the site, and we welcome contributions to add to our growing number of entries. We hope that people from all countries and all walks of life are going to put up the biographies of people they feel proud of, so we can offer role models for today’s children and tomorrow’s leaders,” added Bush.